When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators ~ Unknown.
What follows is a listing of my favorite 4 Democratic Legislators; written in response to a post on the Contra O'Reilly blog. This "Moderate" blogger selects his legislators for (primarily) their support of the Bowles-Simpson Conservative Deficit Reduction plan, which has rightly (in my opinion) been criticized as being "stacked with people who want to target entitlement spending rather than any balanced proposal".
Re Bowles-Simpson being Conservative, Willis sez "only in the warped, psychotic, brain-diseased, and idiotic mind of a lunatic leftist douchebag would anything even remotely along these lines even be considered". Wrong.
In any case, my four picks are legislators I feel have exceptional character and integrity, and are among the cream of the crop. Politicians who have not been bought or sold, but in fact have been working hard for the average American (in alphabetical order)...
w-dervish's Top Four Democratic Legislators
 Senator Sherrod Brown (Ohio) due to his opposition to free trade, and authorship of the book, Myths of Free Trade (which details why "an unregulated global economy is a threat to all of us"). I also respect him for being a strong advocate of equal rights for LGBT individuals and being ranked as one of the most Liberal members of Congress. Unfortunately he gets a demerit for his co-sponsorship of PIPA (The Protect IP Act).
 Rep. John Conyers (Michigan's 14th) for introducing (every session) HR 676 The U.S. National Health Care Act (Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. The act calls for the creation of a universal single-payer health care system in the United States), voting AGAINST HR 1540 (The National Defense Authorization Act)... the horrible legislation that allows indefinite detention without trial of American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil (signed by President Obama!), releasing (5/2005) "What Went Wrong In Ohio: The Conyers Report On The 2004 Presidential Election", voting not to count the electoral votes from Ohio in the 2004 US presidential election, suing the bush Administration in an effort to stop the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (a bill that cut Medicare and Medicaid) from becoming law, being one of the most liberal members of Congress.
 Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Arizona's 7th) for being the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, being rated as one of the most Liberal members of Congress, calling for a withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan, opposing Arizona's SB 1070, being strongly pro-choice, support of the public option, voting against HR 1540, receiving an "F" from the NRA, requesting that the UN certify elections in the United States, opposition to a border fence due to it's potential damage to sensitive wildlife habitats, and calls for stronger oversight of the oil industry - offshore drilling in particular (In 2010, he introduced H.R. 5355 to eliminate the cap on oil company liability for the cost of environmental cleanups of spills).
 Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Illinois's 9th) because she voted NAY on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform's blueprint (Simpson-Bowles) and offered a superior alternative, voted not to accept Ohio's electoral votes in 2004 in response to concerns about electoral irregularities (it was in Ohio that bush stole the 2004 election), supported the public option and single-payer, voted AGAINST HR 1540, and because she gave a speech at the 2004 Chicago Democratic Socialists of America's 46th Annual Debs-Thomas-Harrington Dinner. Unfortunately I have to give her a minor demerit for her condemnation of the Progressive Democrats of America's support for the second Freedom Flotilla.
Dishonorable Mention & Runner-Ups
Senator Ron Wyden (Oregon) an individual who On The Issues (an American non-partisan, non-profit organization providing information to voters about candidates) described as being a "hardcore Liberal", but upon closer examination THIS Liberal has to ask, "hard core? I think not", a decent Democrat perhaps, but a Democrat who acted as a useful idiot when he teamed up with GOP House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan to develop a Medicare reform plan that would result in the semi-privatization of the system. The Ryan-Wyden plan provoked a negative response from Wyden's Democratic allies, including President Obama.
Wyden also earns his dishonorable mention for sponsoring the Healthy Americans Act (which would institute a national system of market-based private insurance) and joining with Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Trent Lott (R-MS) to help pass the bush Administration's Medicare Modernization Act (The bush Administration is alleged to have forced officials to hide its true cost, which later was tripled). The act has been also criticized as favoring pharmaceutical companies, as it prohibits the federal government from negotiating prescription drug rates), and for "mostly" supporting free trade.
And, while the Fact Checking Organization Politifact called the Democrat's claim that the Ryan-Wyden plan would "end Medicare as we know it" their "lie of the year", it is actually TRUE and not a lie at all, as a 12/25/2011 Mediate article points out...
|Tommy Christopher, writing for Mediaite: The blowback from Politifact's "Lie Of The Year" award has been fast, furious, and despite Politifact's smug insistence to the contrary, bipartisan. One overlooked effect of the site's naming "Republicans Voted To End Medicare" their "Lie Of The Year" is that it gives the false impression that Paul Ryan's original plan to end Medicare as we know it was nothing to worry about, and paves the way for acceptance of the newer Ryan-Wyden Medicare "reform" plan. In an interview with Fox Business's David Asman, liberal radio and TV host Thom Hartmann slammed Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Politifact for their assault on Medicare (Thom Hartmann Calls Sen. Ron Wyden "Useful Idiot" For Promoting Ryan-Wyden Medicare Plan, 12/25/2011).|
Dishonorable runner-ups include Dick Durbin, Kent Conrad and Chris Van Hollen for their support of the Bowles-Simpson recommendations. Bowles-Simpson was NOT a "good starting point" as it looked FIRST to entitlements for savings. According to economist James K. Galbraith "the current deficits were caused by the financial crisis [and] cuts in Social Security and Medicare would be harmful and would not reduce the deficit".
Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research criticized the commission for omitting a tax on the financial industry, as was recommended by the International Monetary Fund. He also denounced co-chairs Alan K. Simpson and Erskine Bowles for claiming to have looked everywhere on ways to increase revenue, but not including the financial industry (excerpted from Wikipedia).
I'm in complete agreement with the two economists quoted above. Instituting the Bowles-Simpson recommendations would hurt our economy. This is the primary reason I placed Jan Schakowsky on my top Democratic Legislators list. She voted NO, and for the right reasons (others voted NO, but for the wrong reasons; i.e. the commission didn't cut entitlements ENOUGH).
See also: Straight from The Warped, Psychotic, Brain-diseased, & Idiotic Mind of A Lunatic Libertarian Douchebag (SWTD #266). I thoroughly refute Willis Hart's assertion that Bowles-Simpson isn't Conservative.